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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing Lint From T-Shirts

By Dr. Laundry August 25, 2009

Q. I dried my son’s dark blue sleeveless polyester workout shirt with dark towels, and now it has lint all over it. I tried washing the shirt again, but no difference. How do I get the lint off?

A. One of the keys to good laundry practices is to sort not only by color but by lint producers and attractors (usually these are heavy items like towels and lighter synthetic garments). What has happened here is that the dark towels have lost a number of fibers, and the synthetic polyester has developed a static electric charge during drying which attracts and holds these loose fibers that usually wind up on the lint filter.

A couple of options to fix this:

  • You can use a lint brush, which has a sticky surface to physically pull the lint off the shirt.
  • Another option would be to rewash and add a small amount of fabric softener, either in the rinse or using a dryer sheet. This should eliminate the static charge and free the shirt of the lint pieces.